When it comes to saving money, your first thought might not be ‘fun’ — but saving money doesn’t always have to be hard. Whether you’re saving for a new car or a new house, you may as well take the time to enjoy the process — it could take a while. So, knuckle down, tighten your belts, and get ready to enjoy yourself in the process. Here are 10 ways you can save money, and still have fun.
1. Set your goal
Even if you’re not saving for a specific something, it can be really useful to set yourself a goal. So, that could be becoming more fiscally secure by the end of the year, or saving enough money for a mortgage on your first house. Having a goal makes the whole saving process so much easier. Try picking up a calendar and writing down what you’d like to achieve on that date — this keeps you accountable, and you can track your progress.
2. Track your spending
Now you’ve got a goal, it’s time to see where your hard-earned cash is going. You can track your spending on an app, or simply by keeping a note or spreadsheet. You’ll have to be strict with yourself, you’re only cheating yourself out of money if you miss off some of your expenses. Knowledge is certainly power when it comes to your own personal finances.
3. Budget, budget, budget
So, you have your goal, and you’re tracking your spending. Next comes budgeting. This word isn’t the most appealing, but it does not have to mean the end of tun. By working out your monthly outgoings, and the amount you would like to save each month, you can set your budget. Organize how much money you will allow for things like food, transport, and fitness. When you have all the essentials out of the way, put aside a pot for things that make you happy. That could be the occasional cinema trip, money to buy a new outfit, or simply to go for dinner with your friends.
4. Plan in advance
Cutting down your spending while enjoying yourself means planning, so while you may have to say goodbye to a certain amount of spontaneity, you can still have a good time. There will be times when you’ve got to put down more money than usual one month — be it car insurance or line rental — so be conscious of when they are and plan accordingly, so you’re not naught out. If you’ve got a holiday coming up, make sure you know exactly how much money you’ll need to save to make it work with your plan to save money.
5. Cut down on those little extras
That daily latte won’t be the difference between buying your first property or not, but you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save. So, keep an eye on the little things. Try switching to packed lunches rather than cafe lunches, and consider walking some or all of your way to work to cut down on transportation costs, or get a better phone deal. It may seem counter-intuitive, but buying in bulk (and spending a little more money upfront) can save you loads in the future. Try going to a wholesale retailer or membership club, and pick up bulk items to save you money in the long run.
6. Embrace technology
Every year, more technology is released that can save time and energy. And that includes personal finance software. It can help you to figure out your finances, and make the path to saving money that little bit easier. So, choose from an app, or a website like Pigly.Com, and relax in the knowledge that you understand your money.
7. Put savings away carefully
So, you’ve gone to all the effort, know where are you putting your money? Find the best savings account you can that will let you accrue interest if possible. This can be easier said than done, so ask friends and family what they do with their savings. Additionally, doing your own research (online and in the bank) can help you make your decision.
8. Enjoy the great outdoors
A walk in the park or along the coast is free, beautiful, and very good for you. Embrace the great outdoors in your plan to save, and you’ll be richer in many ways. Connecting to earth is a great way to spend your time, and you’ll really notice a difference in your physical and mental health. Plus, going for a walk with friends is a great way to socialize, and it doesn’t cost anything.
9. Sign up for loyalty cards
Picking up loyalty cards for your favorite shops means that you can build up points when you do shop. Often, there will be other perks like vouchers or early access to sales — all of which can save you money. You could also consider choosing a credit card from a retailer; they often have perks that will mean you’re rewarded for spending your money with them. Not bad, huh?
10. Get hosting
Hosting friends and family at your own home is a great way to save money while you’re saving money. You can control the costs, by planning out if you’ll be providing food, and relying on the kindness of guests to bring bottles of wines (which aren’t always budget-friendly!). So, if you’re planning to meet some girlfriends at the weekend, why don’t you invite them over for a movie night at yours? Get some popcorn, find a movie on Netflix, and enjoy yourselves for next to nothing.
Hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration on how to save money whilst enjoying yourself at the same time. It’s all about setting a goal and keeping a positive mental attitude along the way.